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Walkabout - NSW

sunny

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An amazing few days 'walkabout'!
After a little bit of planning with a lot of maps ,
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and some red wine
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we set off to the hills
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Beginning with exploring a few hours north of Sydney, a spectacular section of the Great Eastern Escarpment, high up in the mountains.
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First stop Big Nellie one of the main attractions of Coorabakh National Park.
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It’s an imposing rock plug that soars more than 500m above sea level, reminding us of an earlier time when the Australian landscape was still being created by volcanoes and earthquakes.
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When the sign says 'no foot or hand holds, experienced climbers only...we paid no attention and carried on anyway!
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Worth it when we got to the top though
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The views over Coorabakh National Park were spectacular
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Rather than spend the night here, we decided to push on. Next stop, Comboyne...
Getting up Big Nellie was the easy part - getting back down was slightly more interesting. Let's just say I'm glad it wasn't wet!
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Coorabakh National Park
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Coorabakh National Park, meaning bloodwood, forms part of the Lansdowne Escarpment, separating the Manning and Camden Haven River catchments. Formerly part of Lansdowne State forest, this 1,827 hectare national park was dedicated in 1999 to protect outstanding scenery and a wide variety of wildlife communities.
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Dry heath and woodlands occur alongside exposed shallow soils of the escarpment and volcanic peaks of Big Nellie, Flat Nellie and Little Nellie. On the protected slopes, there the soil is deeper and more fertile, tall eucalypt forests are found. Along the creek lines are abundant sub-tropical rainforests. The diversity of animal species comes from the diversity of the landscape and plant communities. Koalas, brush-tailed phascogales, Parma wallabies, stuttering frogs and bush stone-curlews are just a few of the threatened species found in the park.
Newby’s Lookout
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This view looks across the rich alluvial flats of the lower Manning Valley was named after a pioneer of the district, John Newby, who lived from 1810 to 1880. From here you can see the towns of Lansdowne, Wingham and Taree and the coastal villages of Old Bar and Wallaby Point.
Moving on through the Bulga Plateau where white settlers first arrived in 1892 to Elands, the countryside was beautiful
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and we stopped for a drink at Boorgana, and chatted to the locals, two of which within 10mins of meeting us had offered us a place to stay! But we had other plans. Nick knew a spot by The Rapids just a little bit further on.
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We set up camp
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We even had the luxury of his and hers toilets!!
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After collecting some fire wood, and cooking an excellent dinner of home made burgers and rough cut wedges, we settled down for the night with the fire, and some more red wine
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The next morning, we packed up camp and headed to one of the tourist destinations nearby:
Ellenborough Falls
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The southern hemisphere’s second highest waterfall with a single drop of 200m. (The highest falls in the southern hemisphere are located at Wallaman Falls in North Queensland.) The Ellenborugh Falls Reserve covered an area of approximately 130 Ha, 80% of which is heavily vegetated with an extensive diverse range of Cool Temperate Rainforest.
There are 641 leading down 160m to the gorge at the bottom of the falls.
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The stairway opened in 1996 replacing an informal track.
At the top of the falls the bedrock of the Buldga Plateau (siltstone, sandstone, mudstone) is exposed in the river bed.
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These rocks were formed some 280 million years ago in the Permian period. On the western face of the gorge, rocks date back even earlier to the Cambrian period, some 550 million years ago.
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After a coffee (hot chocolate) and sausage roll from the hut at the top, we chatted with the lady there who recommended we visited Blue Knob on our way to camp at Dingo Tops.
So we set off, stopping at another lookout, where it was amazing to see 'Black Boys' growing out from the rock face
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Blue Knob
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At 1,014m it is one of the highest peaks in the forest. Two of the most well known Australian rainforest trees can be seen from here. In winter you may be able to identify the Red Cedar by its leaves turning yellow and then dropping. The new spring growth is characteristically pink/red. Favoured for its valuable timber, this species is rarely seen today apart from inaccessible spaces such as this.
In the summer months another species can be seen, adding a splash of red to this green landscape. The Illawarra Flame Tree presents spectacular flowering display in the early summer.
We were a little surprised when we got there to find a team of workmen (on a sunday) building the viewing platform
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But then, they did have the best camping spot in the area, with spectacular views to the coast
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Heading down through Tapin Tops we saw a lot of old growth and spectacular mountain scenery. Arriving at our next camping spot - Dingo Tops
It was great to see a group of dirt bikers making the most of the forest trails.
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Once again, a great spot for a night's camping and a great opportunity to take some star trail pictures
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Taking photos of star trails at night, led to a night time exploration of the local rain forest! All I can say is, some photos worked, some, not so much!
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inside a tree trunk, looking up
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The next morning we found another trail to investigate (this time in day light) called the Red Cedar Walk.
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The rain forest is not something I would have considered when you think of Australia
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It's great to see so many 'old' trees, as a lot of the area was destroyed by logging, so pockets of forest like this are quite special
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This is a Stringy Bark Tree - for obvious reasons
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and once again the weather was on our side
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even the local snails are giants like the trees
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Moving on for the days adventure, we passed Koala Road, though sadly didn't spot any koalas
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Next stop was Potteroo Falls
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a little walk through the forest along and over the river led to a beautiful waterfall
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Back at the truck, it was time for tea and cake (being British whatnot) whilst enjoying the footpath over the river
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As we came down the valley out of the rainforest of Killabakh Nature Reserve to Rowley's River, we were treated to more spectacular views
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and passed this handsome chap
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We found a great spot by the river to set up for an early camp and enjoy the tranquillity
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Nick took some time out to contemplate the wonders of the world (and the bag of crisps)
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bed ready
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after a stroll along the river to spot Platypus, and this lovely set of rapids
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It was back to base to practise some archery
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and then for some good food, good wine and good company
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The next morning we headed home, stopping to spot koalas (without success)
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and to admire one last view at Brushy Cutting Lookout, back across Lansdowne
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and all of this possible, thanks to Nick and the beast!
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Posted by charlystyles 13:57 Archived in Australia Tagged walkabout comboyne big_nellie blue_knob dingo_tops Comments (0)

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